SFX3 All Court Wimbledon Tennis shoe – Babolat
The top thing I look for in a sports shoe, besides making sure it is secure and ergonomically designed enough that I trust it to actually take care of my feet, is comfort. There’s nothing I find more discouraging that putting on trainers or tennis shoes that feel unpleasant, or even that feel a bland sort of neutral. If I’m putting on shoes that are actually more comfortable than my regular ones, it makes the shoe and the connected activity feel special and makes me glad to be returning to it: well-made training shoes are encouraging, energizing, and make your body feel more capable, because they’re aiding your movement rather than fighting against it. All of this is true of the SFX3 All Court Wimbledons.
Babolat describes this model as the ‘slipper’ of their tennis shoes, and they’re not wrong, except that the fit is far more supportive than any slipper I’ve owned. Out of Babolat’s Wimbledon range, these are the shoe that focus on comfort, but in doing so, they sacrifice none of the support, fit or performance one would want from the rest of the range.
A TPR ‘Kompressor’ tube under the heel has been positions to aid shock absorption, and similar details in engineering exist throughout the shoe, cushioning and padding your foot whilst still allowing enough room for those with wider feet. You feet will feel snug, pillowed and yet protected, allowing you to play for longer without either injury or sore feet at the end.
The rubber for the soles was made by Michelin, and they make sure you know it with a little logo of a happily running Michelin Man on the back of your heel. Babolat has used Michelin’s rubber for its soles for the past 15 years, thanks to its durability, grip and spring. As for the shape of the sole, that’s all Babolat, with its patented nine key pressure point segments used to maximize responsiveness. It works – again, it felt like these shoes were working with me, not against me, and whether you’re an experienced sportsperson or someone who has a hot and cold relationship with keeping fit, that feeling is essential. The grip in the base of the shoe is also excellent, and as advertised, the sole is non-marking, meaning you won’t leave any of those trainer streaks across your court floor.
Like all of Babolat’s Wimbledon range, the SFX3 All Court Wimbledon is only available in the signature white and purple, but don’t be deceived - the same model is also available as ‘Men’s’ and ‘Women’s’ versions, coming in blue, green and orange for men and all-pink for women (predictably). It is available in sizes 3.5 to 13.5 and allows for a broader foot, but I suspect you also don’t need a broader foot to benefit from these trainers (especially as feet all need a little give when they get hot).
All in all, I was very impressed with the All Courts. Comfort, performance, protection and stability – they deliver everything one could need in a sports shoe, and it quickly becomes clear that the designers understand the needs of tennis players. Running, leaping, landing, bracing and keeping ready to spring – these shoes will look after you.
Kompressor shock absorption
Segmented sole for max responsiveness
Room for a wider foot